The BASES Expert Statement on Aerobic Training for Older and Clinical Groups using Arm Crank Ergometry Lindsay Bottoms1, Paul M. Smith*2, Garry Tew3 and Mike Price4 1University of Hertfordshire, 2Cardiff Metropolitan University, 3University of York, 4Coventry University *Corresponding author: psmith@cardiffmet.ac.uk Arm crank ergometry testing and training is often considered in the context of disability sport. Indeed, testing and training recommendations contained within this BASES expert statement should be viewed as an extension of information presented by Goosey-Tolfrey et al. (2013) that focused upon spinal cord injury. Moreover, this expert statement outlines the potential benefits associated with arm crank ergometry in diverse sub-populations. While lower-limb exercise is more commonly studied and prescribed, arm crank ergometry represents an accessible, alternative exercise mode with many important applications. Although not as familiar as treadmill running or cycle ergometry, most modern fitness centres offer arm crank ergometry, and commercially-available equipment is available for the domestic setting. Information contained within this statement presents evidence linked to the feasibility and effectiveness of aerobic arm crank ergometry training for a variety of sub-populations, including the older adult and clinical patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and peripheral artery disease. The purpose of this statement was to raise awareness of arm crank ergometry as an exercise mode, and to encourage professionals and practitioners to consider its inclusion within exercise and training programmes that have a specific objective to improve an individual’s quality of life. The key conclusions were; • Established testing guidelines exist for arm crank ergometry (Smith & Price, 2007). • Arm crank ergometry has many useful training applications, many of which extend to older participants and settings of clinical rehabilitation. • There is evidence of a transfer of fitness gains linked with initial arm crank ergometry training to other modes of exercise (e.g. treadmill walking) as a result of central, cardiovascular adaptations. • It is feasible for most sub-populations of participants to engage with arm crank ergometry, which is sometimes better tolerated than other modes of lower body exercise. • The nature of training can take the form of constant load, moderate exercise, high-intensity, interval training or all-out repeated sprint activity, though evidence supporting the implementation of sprint exercise is limited. Future research is required to extend our knowledge associated with health benefits resulting from arm crank ergometry training. In particular, evidence surrounding the transferability of fitness and functional gains associated with training the arms to other modes of exercise warrants further examination. It is also clear that high intensity, interval training (HIIT) is feasible using arm crank ergometry. However, the acute and longer-term responses have not been well characterised, nor has the effectiveness of HIIT compared to the more traditional prescription of moderate intensity, longer duration exercise.
Original languageEnglish
TypeBASES Expert Statement
Number of pages2
Place of Publicationbases.org.uk
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Upper body exercise


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